Karen: I had surgery on my wrist and want to continue working out. Obviously I can only use one arm for lifting weights. Should I hold one weight in my good hand or not use any weight at all if it’s going to cause an imbalance?
Megan: I’m happy to hear you are keeping your workouts up. Where there’s a will there’s a way. The truth is that any work you do on one arm will benefit the other arm as well. You aren’t going to have Popeye muscles only on one side. The brain and nervous system are working together and don’t really care if only one side is working. The neurons are telling your body to make the connection so that you are getting stronger and can move more efficiently next time you do the movement (the process of learning). Keep the weights light of course not to strain the wrist with gripping and sometimes using ankle weights strapped around can be a good adjustment. You don’t want the injured side to atrophy. However, always ask your doctor’s advice in case you really need to be sensitive based on your specific injury type.